A police officer, Joe Gutierrez, has been fired from his job after pepper-spraying an African-American Army officer, Lt. Caron Nazario in Virginia.
The incident occurred in Windsor, Virginia, on December 5, 2020, although footage of the disturbing encounter recently emerged.
The Windsor police department said on Sunday night that it has fired Officer Gutierrez, who used pepper spray on the soldier.
The dismissed officer and another colleague had pulled the army officer over apparently for driving his new Chevrolet Tahoe without licence plates.
However, the army man taped temporary paper licence plates to the rear window of the vehicle.
He was said to have told the police officers that he was afraid when ordered to exit the vehicle.
Nazario was putting on his military fatigues at the time of the encounter, during which the policemen held him at gunpoint and also pepper-sprayed him.
Lt. Nazario, a member of the US Army Medical Corps, has filed a lawsuit against Gutierrez and his colleague, Daniel Crocker, alleging racial profiling.
Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam said in a Sunday tweet that he had directed the Virginia State Police to launch a probe into the incident.
“Our Commonwealth has done important work on police reform, but we must keep working to ensure Virginians are safe during interactions with police, the enforcement of laws is fair and equitable, and people are held accountable,” the governor said.